Comprehensive Professional Development / Teacher Training
This portion of the website will discuss the conceptual framework for professional development for each of the populations connected within the structure, focus and scope of the SHINE 21st Century After-School Program. These populations include: SHINE teachers, college education interns, families/parents, school district teachers / and administrators.
Unique to SHINE is the teacher training component for after-school professionals. Planning to gather topics of interest that relate to creative project based activities and themes is driven by ongoing student assessment and conducted early summer. A comprehensive development plan is created. The third Friday of the month from 4:00to 7:00is designated for professional development. All staff is required to attend. A very important part of the monthly training is time to share a meal and ideas with colleagues. All formal training is Act 48 through LehighCarbonCommunity College. In addition, SHINE staff recognizes that as topics arise as we progress through the assessment and analysis of the data we need to have the flexibility to integrate into the professional development plan. A strong focus has been on STEM and Careers of the Future. We consistently provide opportunities for the teacher to “think outside the box”. (Click to see Professional Development Brochure)
The types of professional development experiences that will be offered to the college students/interns are based on areas of concern and information not provided by their coursework in the college degree program. Some of these topics might be policies and procedures of the SHINE site, use of specific assessment tools, or how to operate certain technology within each of the different school district buildings. These students would be included in the invitation for all of the other training topics. Interns are expected to attend those events. The SHINE Program is considered a pre-service teaching laboratory for education majors. SHINE is also approved for a student teaching experience in the LCCC Early Childhood Program.
The parents and families of the children in the SHINE programs will have the opportunity to take non credit workshops through the college to improve their skills, such as reading or writing of resumes. Parents also work with the community college to enroll in an academic program, GED or ELL. In addition, monthly dinners with topics are scheduled for parents to gain knowledge and access to information about child safety, school success, behavior management and guidance, or continuing to build academic skills with their children. Parents and family members are surveyed each year to gain feed back and information on their interests and needs through the Family Education Plans.
Due to the different populations affected by the professional development opportunities, various formats are utilized. Some of the events are held within the school district buildings for individual programs to gather teachers, interns and families. Full day trainings are expanded to include classroom teachers and administrators in local school districts. The impact has resulted in an increased number of professionals from local districts understanding the benefits of quality after-school programs and an eagerness to partner to insure student success.
How does SHINE create more effective classroom teachers and better prepared future educators ?
Over the past 10 years, we have witnessed many positive educational and social outcomes for children and families through the SHINE 21st Century After-School Program. School district administrators observed that classroom teachers who were also instructors in the SHINE after-school program were becoming more engaged with families, teaching beyond the traditional classroom walls and exhibiting more confidence in classroom management skills. Principals witnessed cultural change /systematic changes in their classrooms-teachers.
SHINE administrators created an Intern and Teacher Impact Survey to measure the impact on regular classroom teachers and LCCC Educational interns working in a quality after-school program for at-risk children with a strong parent involvement component. Survey questions included: the affect on classroom management, parent engagement, building positive family relationships, understanding the important role of assessment data and the role parents play in their child’s success and if the experience has prepared them to be a teacher in the 21st Century. Responses to the questions included: Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree and Strongly Disagree. The classroom teachers spent an average of 11.7 years in the classroom and 2.75 years as an after-school teacher. A total of 100% strongly agreed / agreed working an after-school program has improved student learning in their regular classrooms. 86% strongly agreed / agreed it had improved classroom management in their classrooms. 96.5% strongly agreed /agreed that they understand and utilize assessment data much more effectively. 100% strongly agreed / agreed in the important role families play in their child’s success and 100% strongly agree or agreed they were better prepared to be a teacher in the 21st Century. Teacher comments included: “I teach high school students, but working with the SHINE children has brought me back to basics, so to speak, I realize every high school student was once a small elementary child and that child is still there in every “big kid.” We sometimes rush so much to cover the curriculum and are business, but yet it’s the little people skills that may really impact a life.” Another wrote, “I have become more tolerant. Some students need to move to learn. I try to use as much positive reinforcement as possible.” My experience as an after-school teacher has made me more aware of pressing issues that today’s families struggle with. I have also gained more experience in addressing all learning styles, especially in the area of remediation.”
Teachers were better equipped to relate to parents and “reach” beyond the classroom walls. Interns reported that working in SHINE increased their confidence level, improved classroom management and became much more engaged with parents. Most importantly, SHINE research suggests that students in pre-service experiences such as SHINE will increase the likelihood that students will complete their education degree and remain in the field.
Click below to view complete Teacher and Intern Impact Survey results.